1) You have difficulty sleeping
This is a telltale trait that you're close to, if not have already burnt out. You would think that if you're burnt out that sleeping would be easy, but research suggests the opposite. When you burn out, your anxiety peaks and it places your body into fight or flight mode. This is basically like asking your mind and body to relax in a burning building. In fight or flight mode, your mind races, muscle tension sets in and you feel full of adrenaline.
If you think of your body and mind as a battery meter. You start your day at 100%, a particularly draining work day or stressful day will usually drain around 70%. If you then go home and begin another draining activity you may drain down to 10% (anything below 20% is burnout). A good night sleep provides roughly 40% charge, so the next day you're starting at 50%. If you have another stressful day with and don't hit replenish, you have hit burnout and its only Tuesday.
2) You feel highly strung or anxious
When we are approaching burn out we begin to get jittery and/or anxious. You might begin to notice that feeling of a tight elastic band across your back or that tightness in your chest. The truth is, is that modern day life is stressful. We live in a world layered with deadlines and distractions. Life is getting quicker and quicker and the quickest conclusion is that our minds are just not built for it. We are overwhelmed with information, and whilst we're still processing the latest information, here comes the next thing. If we don't learn a new way of approaching modern day living, burn out is going to be inevitable.
3) you have no appetite or are overeating
Usually, clients come in with a symptom and then we find out the root cause is anxiety. Previously the most common presentation was insomnia, but over the past year, a more common presentation is gastrointestinal issues. The reason for this being is that when your body senses its in threat (when we're approaching burn out), it removes the water from our digestive system to send to our muscles to ensure that we can move quicker i.e run away from a threat as soon as possible. Therefore if our anxiety is being triggered on a daily basis, the water is being pushed and pulled from our digestive system, which causes nausea, IBS, and stomach pain. It also makes it exceptionally difficult to eat. Equally, stress can affect our food preferences. Studies have shown that stress and distress can cause our bodies to crave food high in fat, sugar, or both. High cortisol levels, in combination with high insulin levels, may be responsible. Fat and sugar-filled foods seem to have a feedback effect that inhibits activity in the brain that produces stress related emotions, so part of our stress-induced craving for those foods may be that they counteract stress.
Help and information
Moving forward, should you wish to work on your symptoms of burn out or create more of a balance in life, please do not hesitate to get in contact for more information on CBT.
Thank you for reading. Have a lovely day.